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Evidentially a Pedophile was Called as Bishop.  Its been a long time since I believed that "Callings" are made by God through inspiration. Instead, personal experience has instead shown me that the extending of callings is a very human enterprise. That said many within the church still believe that callings are made by God through inspiration.

As someone who has been interviewed by a GA to fill the position of SP, I came to realize just how human this process really is.  (I am only sharing my opinion and do not expect anyone else to share my viewpoint)  Way too often, people such as this California bishop, sneak through the process, to leave me with any other conclusion.  God would not inspire leaders to call a pedophile as a Bishop, however well meaning human's would make this mistake and obvisouly do.

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On 6/3/2020 at 12:08 PM, Anakin7 said:

 I believe "groomed" means verbally persuaded and trained.

The training might be described as Pavlovian, because it is designed to progressively bring the target into the web of sin -- incrementally creating familiarity and comfort --- and will differ according to the culture, age, and preferences of the target.

It might be a good idea to be a kid who knows how to say "no," even if it seems discourteous to do so.  Being raised as a cooperative and obedient youngster isn't necessarily an example of wise parenting.  When a kid starts telling his parent "no," that may be an indication that the parents have done a good job.  The job of a good parent is to raise a kid who can think independently and who doesn't go long just to get along.  Raising naive and sycophantic kids is no boon to society, and leaves them vulnerable to every huckster who comes along.

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2 hours ago, alter idem said:

Of course they are still called 'Bishop' sometimes, but never after being excommunicated, and certainly not known as the 'Father', albeit, excommunicated 'Father of the ward', that would be totally inappropriate and not funny.  'Forgetting " he was not a member anymore? Who forgets about a Bishop being excommunicated?  That's a real stretch to even consider,  imo.

It seems kind of variable as to who keeps getting called Bishop and who doesn't.  In my old ward in Olympia, Washington, at one point we had five or six men who had been bishop over the preceding 25 years. It seemed to me that only the most recent former holders were addressed as "Bishop", and then only occasionally after a few months had passed. In my present ward, which is much smaller, we have six, and literally none of them gets called "Bishop" except the current holder of the position.

Back in the days when bishops held the calling for decades at a time it might have difficult for members to stop using the title for the previous bishop after his release, but now? 

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36 minutes ago, Fair Dinkum said:

Evidentially a Pedophile was Called as Bishop.  Its been a long time since I believed that "Callings" are made by God through inspiration. Instead, personal experience has instead shown me that the extending of callings is a very human enterprise. That said many within the church still believe that callings are made by God through inspiration.

As someone who has been interviewed by a GA to fill the position of SP, I came to realize just how human this process really is.  (I am only sharing my opinion and do not expect anyone else to share my viewpoint)  Way too often, people such as this California bishop, sneak through the process, to leave me with any other conclusion.  God would not inspire leaders to call a pedophile as a Bishop, however well meaning human's would make this mistake and obvisouly do.

25 minutes ago, Ahab said:

The fact that Jesus chose Judas to be one of his apostles negates the idea that those who are called to serve will always make good decisions.  Everyone who is called to serve still has agency and can choose to do bad things.

What I've noticed about people who are called to serve in any position is that in it they have an opportunity to grow more spiritually by serving in that position, if they will do what they should do. And that they still have a lot to learn.

I think both are true to some extent.  Not all callings are inspired, and not all 'bad-actors' are uninspired callings.

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11 minutes ago, Stargazer said:

It seems kind of variable as to who keeps getting called Bishop and who doesn't.  In my old ward in Olympia, Washington, at one point we had five or six men who had been bishop over the preceding 25 years. It seemed to me that only the most recent former holders were addressed as "Bishop", and then only occasionally after a few months had passed. In my present ward, which is much smaller, we have six, and literally none of them gets called "Bishop" except the current holder of the position.

Back in the days when bishops held the calling for decades at a time it might have difficult for members to stop using the title for the previous bishop after his release, but now? 

In my observation, it has always been an optional thing, not a requirement or even an expectation, but not inappropriate (so long as the man remains worthy).
 

I think it’s fine as a recognition of the man’s past service and of the special bond that developed between him and his ward members. 

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35 minutes ago, Fair Dinkum said:

Evidentially a Pedophile was Called as Bishop.  Its been a long time since I believed that "Callings" are made by God through inspiration. Instead, personal experience has instead shown me that the extending of callings is a very human enterprise. That said many within the church still believe that callings are made by God through inspiration.

As someone who has been interviewed by a GA to fill the position of SP, I came to realize just how human this process really is.  (I am only sharing my opinion and do not expect anyone else to share my viewpoint)  Way too often, people such as this California bishop, sneak through the process, to leave me with any other conclusion.  God would not inspire leaders to call a pedophile as a Bishop, however well meaning human's would make this mistake and obvisouly do.

I've been interviewed by a GA to fill the position of Stake President as well. In no way did it resemble being interviewed for any job I've ever been interviewed for.  The GA in question, by the way, was Elder Robert D. Hales, but while he was a GA Seventy, not Q12. It was a brief conversation and I don't remember a darned thing about the conversation other than its brevity and the lack of "qualification" questions. He was not looking like "a man looketh", is all I can say.  The only question I can recall him asking was if I had any recommendations regarding who might be a good new SP.   I did, in fact, have someone in mind, and that was the branch president of a neighboring branch. He didn't get called, incidentally -- though I remember who it was, because he eventually served as a GA himself: Bruce D. Porter.  Br. Porter was a spiritual giant even when we served as full-time missionaries in the same mission waaaaay back in 1972. Well, that's a tangent.

Sometimes I wonder why people expect people whom the Lord calls to a position to be somehow infallible.  I know someone has brought up Judas, but in addition to him we have Kings Saul and David in the Bible. Both men were apparently ideal candidates of great ability and faithfulness. But of course, as always DC 121:39-40 comes into play:

39 We have learned by sad experience that it is the nature and 
disposition of almost all men, as soon as they get a little 
authority, as they suppose, they will immediately begin to 
exercise unrighteous dominion.
40 Hence many are called, but few are chosen.

There's another thing here, too. And that is that God knows the end from the beginning. He is not being surprised here, or at any time. As He exists outside of Time and thus outside of our Universe, looking in, as it were, he already knows how it all ends up.  Because for Him it has already run its course.  The plain fact of it all is this: some of us fail miserably.  He put us here where we could demonstrate that we were not cut out to be joint heirs with Christ, and he knows full well who fails and who succeeds in the end.  But until we have our chance, we don't know, and we have to be given that chance.  This is all very quantum, by the way, just like Schrödinger's Cat.  The state vector will collapse upon observation and we will then know for ourselves -- but God knows now whether the Cat gets out of that box alive or dead, and knew it from the beginning.

You are observing through the glass very very darkly, and because you're seeing with eyes as fully directed upon the things of the earth as it's possible to be, instead of the things of eternity, it's no surprise that you see nothing.

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21 minutes ago, pogi said:

I think both are true to some extent.  Not all callings are inspired, and not all 'bad-actors' are uninspired callings.

That's true enough.  

But regardless of whether the calling was inspired, God puts men and women where they can fail or succeed. And then they do one or the other.  

I think that for the callings that are not inspired, or are in fact anti-inspired, the test was not so much in the callee, but in the caller.  In the case of a stake president who calls a crapper of a bishop, he obviously failed to get inspired and has failed in that instance.  Now I happen to believe that the Lord inspires the call of wolves into the flock from time to time.  The point of the matter is that most of them aren't wolves at the time of their calls, and are being given their chance to fail spectacularly.  Because we are all here to be tested, and in order for the test to be valid we have to be capable of completely screwing it up, and then be given the opportunity to do so.  And not only that, we are also being tested as to how we react to such failures!  Do we lose faith and leave the church because a bishop is a child-abuser?  We let the sin of another move us to disbelieve -- instead of relying upon the Holy Ghost -- and we've proven that our faith is insufficient.  

Nevertheless, how many people having been called not through inspiration but through happenstance or false inspiration and have nevertheless performed well what they were called to do?  We'll never know, will we?  Because if they succeed regardless, we have no way to know that they weren't supposed to be called to that position, do we?  LOL.

When all men and women have become perfect, the organization of the Church will no longer be necessary.  That won't happen anytime soon, and those who expect that it is even possible for God to never allow a bad actor to be called to a position of authority, well, they are expecting a perfect world.  God actually can't use a perfect world. It must, by definition, be imperfect.  We just have to deal with it as best we can.

We are not here to have a fun time.  We are here to be destructively tested in order to learn who we really are, and whether and how God can use us in his important work. If we're suitable, great. If not, too bad.  But we must demonstrate it.

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41 minutes ago, Scott Lloyd said:

In my observation, it has always been an optional thing, not a requirement or even an expectation, but not inappropriate (so long as the man remains worthy).
 

I think it’s fine as a recognition of the man’s past service and of the special bond that developed between him and his ward members. 

I didn't say it was inappropriate, just in case you might have thought that's what I meant.

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15 minutes ago, Stargazer said:

I didn't say it was inappropriate, just in case you might have thought that's what I meant.

Didn’t say you did. But you seemed to be questioning why the custom goes on now as opposed to in the past. I’m saying it is as justifiable today as in yesteryear. 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Scott Lloyd said:

In my observation, it has always been an optional thing, not a requirement or even an expectation, but not inappropriate (so long as the man remains worthy).
 

I think it’s fine as a recognition of the man’s past service and of the special bond that developed between him and his ward members. 

Technically a man who is ordained as a bishop remains a bishop unless his priesthood is loosed, or revoked.  And any man who is ordained as an elder can be referred to as an elder, or Elder whatever, unless his priesthood is revoked.

I know for some people that a reference to a man's priesthood office is considered a term of endearment, but I refer to a man as a bishop only when he is acting in that office, and then when he is released I usually refer to him as either brother whatever, if he is older than I am, or by his first given name, which is colloquially referred to as his Christian name, if he is younger than or about the same age as I am.  And I do the same with presidents, or whatever.

Edited by Ahab
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3 hours ago, Fair Dinkum said:

Evidentially a Pedophile was Called as Bishop.  Its been a long time since I believed that "Callings" are made by God through inspiration. Instead, personal experience has instead shown me that the extending of callings is a very human enterprise. That said many within the church still believe that callings are made by God through inspiration.

As someone who has been interviewed by a GA to fill the position of SP, I came to realize just how human this process really is.  (I am only sharing my opinion and do not expect anyone else to share my viewpoint)  Way too often, people such as this California bishop, sneak through the process, to leave me with any other conclusion.  God would not inspire leaders to call a pedophile as a Bishop, however well meaning human's would make this mistake and obvisouly do.

Yet Christ called Judas as an Apostle. So I think you are wrong. 

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, smac97 said:

However, I've never heard "father of the ward" used in any context for any bishop, ever. 

I think I used to hear it in abstract as in teaching the role of the bishop, never in introducing an actual person. I would not be surprised if it was a holdover from the days bishops served much longer, so maybe dying out?

Edited by Calm
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1 hour ago, Scott Lloyd said:

Didn’t say you did. But you seemed to be questioning why the custom goes on now as opposed to in the past. I’m saying it is as justifiable today as in yesteryear. 

Not that it matters, but I wasn't questioning the custom, just that it seems to be variable in application. The two wards I am most familiar with seemed to apply it differently. Of course, the one ward is US and the other UK. Not sure if that is the answer. And I don''t have enough of a baseline to really be sure.  Does anyone else?

You, Scott, through your former occupation may have a better baseline for it. 

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22 minutes ago, Calm said:

I think I used to hear it in abstract as in teaching the role of the bishop, never in introducing an actual person. I would not be surprised if it was a holdover from the days bishops served much longer, so maybe dying out?

Yes, I think that's likely.

I asked my wife if she's ever heard it, and she said she recalls it being in the lyrics of a primary song.  Sure enough, she was right.  I've never heard that song.

Thanks,

-Smac

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1 hour ago, Stargazer said:

Not that it matters, but I wasn't questioning the custom, just that it seems to be variable in application. The two wards I am most familiar with seemed to apply it differently. Of course, the one ward is US and the other UK. Not sure if that is the answer. And I don''t have enough of a baseline to really be sure.  Does anyone else?

You, Scott, through your former occupation may have a better baseline for it. 

Not really. It’s one of those omnipresent elements of our culture, and I never really gave it much thought. Maybe it’s dying out, but if so, I’ve yet to notice. 

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On 6/4/2020 at 4:05 PM, Fair Dinkum said:

 Its been a long time since I believed that "Callings" are made by God through inspiration

I've been part of Ward leadership where I know the leadership had divine inspiration and in other Wards where I know they did not.

You can't just make a blanket statement.

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1 hour ago, mnn727 said:

I've been part of Ward leadership where I know the leadership had divine inspiration and in other Wards where I know they did not.

You can't just make a blanket statement.

I was in a position of being called to a ward leadership position where I knew without any shadow of doubt that the Lord directed the calling. I won't go into why I knew this to be so. But it was.  And was I a wonderful ward leader?  Did I provide marvelous and inspirational leadership and never make any errors?

The answer to the question was NO. Now, I didn't do badly. And I got the impression that the members felt I had done a creditable job, but was I some super-leader? Not at all.  But I was what the Lord had at that time and place, and so he used me.  There is no perfect man or woman. There is no perfect leader. We are all flawed in one way or another, or more likely in many ways. And sometimes we fail. And sometimes our inspiration fails.

It is what it is. If it doesn't work out, pick up the pieces, move on, and do the best you can to do it better next time. And realize that others are in a similar boat.

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2 hours ago, Tacenda said:

I read about Samuel Neipp too and was wondering if they were related.

M.

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since he was no longer sitting up front where the bishop and counselors  sit, to me that was obvious, and some one had to take his place, the parents had to see that, and he was voted in , Im sure they raised there arm to vote new bishop in, who are they tying to fool, they didn't know he wasn't a Bishop any more is hog wash, and they dont have to tell every one in the ward he was exed, but that kind of stuff gets around. Just saying

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  • 3 weeks later...

Neipp is my family member and therefore I can confirm that he is 100% guilty. Whether or not the Church is responsible is the question though. The Church had regulations in place at the time of the abuse in the name of preventing these sorts of situations. Since then, however, additional rules have been instituted. So maybe the Church should have placed those rules earlier on.  On the other hand, they’re in place now, so the accountability that the law suit is trying to hold the Church to has already been dealt with.  Plus, it’s true that he was excommunicated before the abuse began.  The third victim, not listed here because she wasn’t involved in the lawsuit, was abused well before he was ever called as bishop, as well as during and after, but because she’s another family member, it could hardly be construed as the Church’s fault.  The article states that he was “chosen by God” to be in a leadership position. It’s also true, however, that humans are imperfect and make mistakes, even when extending callings. It’s true that people should be able to trust church leadership, but you (clearly) can never be too careful, because you never know.  That’s something I’ve kept in mind as a result of this very situation.  I agree that the likelihood of members not knowing about the excommunication is slim. I had always known about it but it’s possible that that’s just because it was also, of course, a family affair.

A side note: I find it interesting that the press release didn’t draw the connection between Joseph and his son, Samuel, who pleaded guilty last year to multiple charges of statutory rape which, again, is too big a coincidence for innocence to be plausible for Joseph.

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Thanks for providing the additional context.  I am sorry for this tragedy in your family.  My husband’s close knit extended family had a somewhat similar experience, though it appears abuse was limited to his family.  It was a personal horror for them (I had met the uncle and his family at weddings a few times, but didn’t know them well enough for it to feel personal).  The fallout for the children involved is still brings me to tears though.  I hope all of you are able to receive the support and healing you need.

Edited by Calm
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